Archive for December, 2012

31
Dec
12

A Little Unintentional Meta-Blogging Humor for New Year’s Eve

Saturdays of Thunder12

“Good morning, everybody, and welcome to an event that harkens back to the carefree days of the Great Depression: the soap box derby.” – TV Announcer

Every once and a while I am moved to briefly praise the people up at WordPress HQ.  They do a regularly excellent job of making sure that everything works, the new features that they add tend far more toward “useful” than “bloat”, and their customer support, even for people who aren’t paying jack, is responsive, friendly and informative.  Sometimes, though, things go awry.

In this case it’s a very harmless awry, and it’s far more my fault than theirs, but I laughed when I saw it.  Unexpectedly, I got an e-mail from them yesterday, subject “Your Annual Report from WordPress.com”.  A quick search of my inbox reveals that in four years of blogging with them, this is the first time I’ve gotten an “Annual Report”.  Turns out it’s a new thing this year, a cutesy little flash graphic with your site’s stats that’s a way to encourage people to blog more.  This is part of the one for Dead Homer Society:

2012 Blogging Report

In case you can’t see the image, it’s titled “Crunchy numbers” and reads:

About 55,000 tourists visit Liechtenstein every year.  This blog was viewed about 970,000 times in 2012.  If it were Liechtenstein, it would take bout 18 years for that many people to see it.  Your blog had more visits than a small country in Europe! 

So this is some script that takes a look at your pageview stats, matches that with a predetermined list of numbers and figures, and then writes this paragraph into the e-mail.  If we’d had 50,000 pageviews this year, it’d probably say something like “About 12,000 tourists vomit on the Nauseator every year.  This blog was viewed about 50,000 times in 2012.  If it were the Nauseator, it would take about 4 years for that many people to vomit.  Your blog caused more people to vomit than a ride at Disney Land!”. They’re being a little disingenuous because that 970,000 number is pageviews, not unique visitors, so comparing it to tourists in Europe is like counting the number of visitors a country has by the number of people who request a brochure on their website. 

But those little idiosyncrasies aside, it’s the image at the right that cracked me up.  Unlike the cheery site stats and graphics that are supposed to make you the blogger feel good about all the time you spend complaining on the internet, it’s a chart that’s plummeting like a stone and has a distinctly depressing appearance to it.  They grabbed that particular image because the Zombie Simpsons page was by far our most popular this year (just north of 27,000 views), and if you include the child pages (which it obviously does), that graph is the first image.  It’s the average Amazon stars for the DVDs from Chapter 1, and the reason it’s dropping like a rock is because it’s about Zombie Simpsons.  Heh.

See you all in 2013. 

31
Dec
12

Quote of the Day

June, 2012

“Expiration date?  June, Nineteen Eighty Ni-uh, Two Thousand Twelve . . . yeah.” – Homer Simpson
“Homer, are you ordering junk of the TV again?” – Marge Simpson
“Shh, they’ll hear you!” – Homer Simpson

30
Dec
12

Quote of the Day

Lisa on Ice11

“Nice PJs, Simpson!  Did your mommy buy ’em for you?” – Jimbo Jones
“Of course she did.  Who else would have?” – Bart Simpson
“Alright, Simpson, you win this round.” – Jimbo Jones

Happy birthday, Tracey Ullman!

29
Dec
12

Quote of the Day

Lisa's Rival10

“Well, as a matter of fact, my refrigerator wasn’t running.  You spared me quite a bit of spoilage.  Thank you, anonymous young man.” – Principal Skinner
“D’oh!” – Bart Simpson

28
Dec
12

Reading Digest: Goodbye 2012 Edition

Treehouse of Horror X2

“Man alive, what a stink-o thousand years: blimp wrecks, teenagers . . . then again we had two teevee shows with Andy Griffith!” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson

For the second week in a row there’s just not much cooking on the internet.  But while Simpsons fandom may take it slow from time to time, it never sleeps, and this week we’ve got two links to people saying goodbye to the last year with some very similar Simpsons flair.  There’s also a bunch of great fan art, an electronic remix of the theme song, the Prime Minister of Canada’s Twitter aide engaging in some playful banter with Homer Simpson’s Twitter aide, a couple of fine people who agree with us, a foul person who stole an inflatable Homer Santa from a church in Britain, and plenty of other little tidbits of Simpsons fandom. 

Enjoy.

Me and my friends bro tat! Click for the best… – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this set of three matching Hank Scorpio tattoos on the legs of three friends.  It’s also a great choice of Scorpio image, with his shit eating grin right after he tells Homer that he didn’t even hand over his coat.  Fantastic.  (via @DailySimpsons)

No Matter How Bad It Gets, I Can’t Quit Homer Simpson – I respectfully disagree:

I had an argument recently with a few fellow Simpsons fans—the kind that refuse to watch any episode that aired after the Clinton administration. They love this show as much as I do—the best episodes are in their bones—and yet they gave up on it over a decade ago. I’ve never been one of those. Just like Marge Simpson, I stuck by the old warhorse, through bad years and worse years and the years where they thought it was a good idea to have Lady Gaga guest star.

Yes, the show is better now than it was a decade ago.

The author goes on to praise some of the episodes from this season, but I’m still not buying it.  This is just a rendition on the perpetually misguided “it’s getting better” argument that is one of the last refuges of Zombie Simpsons defenders.  It wasn’t true three years ago, and it isn’t true now. 

Who Watches the Simpsons? by *TonyDennison on deviantART – Great drawing of the Simpsons as the Watchmen.  Lisa as Ozymandias with Snowball II as Bubastis is a great touch, as is the bloodstain on the donut in the title.  (Thanks to reader Robert K for sending this in!)

Moe -The Simpsons by ~serushins on deviantART – Manga style drawing of Moe with an awesomely angry/grumpy/spiteful look on his face.  (Thanks again to Robert K!) 

The 2012 End of The World…In 10 Words – This is the end . . . of high prices.

The Simpsons – Cool fan made papercraft Kang and Kodos.  (Also, “Homie Brown”.)

A Fresh Start – I can’t believe I didn’t see this in more places, but while I usually find Comic Book Guy images of “Worst X Ever” lame, “Worst Apocalypse Ever” is pretty funny.

The Worst – It’s another “Worst Apocalypse Ever”, and what makes it noteworthy is that it while it uses the same Comic Book Guy pose and the exact same phrasing, it’s a different picture.  That’s how you know something has reached total cultural penetration, when multiple people do the exact same thing independently.  It’s convergent social evolution. 

Successful First Generation Immigrants Go to Law School – Now this is a good way to approach life:

There is a good chance that there is a lot wrong with me. But I like to think of myself as Mr. Burns in The Simpsons: all these little sicknesses fight to cause me harm, but there are so many of them that they get entangled amongst themselves, and fail to hurt me.

Weekend Remix: Well This Ain’t Shelbyville – A remix of the theme song:

I would never expect The Simpsons theme — probably one of the most recognizable openings in television today — to experience some type of electronica makeover. But that’s exactly what happened with Kiwistar’s remix. And boy is it a fun trip.

Somehow, Kiwistar managed to blend in some neat jungle jazz with the bright original opening, almost as if it was all naturally meant to come together. The song begins with its own unique groove with no clue as to how the opening is going to fit into this audio puzzle.

But when that familiar melody does manage to slide in, you can’t help but admire how seamless the transition is.

You can listen to it for yourself here.

Holiday Bacon Summit – That official Homer Simpson Twitter account sucks ass, but apparently it and the Prime Minister of Canada (all tucked away down there) shared a love of bacon with the world.  That exchange prompted this:

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper took time out of his busy schedule this afternoon to discuss bacon with Homer Simpson.  I expect this to be featured on every Canadian news program or I’m leaving the country.

Heh.

Stuart’s always slacking off – I stand by my hiring practices. 

Simpsons’ Yeardley Smith Donates $25K To Group Challenging Prop 8 – The headline says it all.  Well done, Lisa.

Homer Simpson stolen from Manchester church – You bastards:

Ivy Manchester Church, on Barlow Moor Road, Didsbury, said the illuminated inflatable was last seen on Thursday.

Members at the church think the figure, which had been up for two weeks, was taken between 01:00 and 08:00 GMT.

Church leader Anthony Delaney has promised a reward of a box of mince pies for any information.

He said: "He had become a bit of a local landmark, we were starting to say that we were the church with the Homer on the roof.

"I went to check it in the morning and he had gone, so we are all feeling a bit deflated.

"We would forgive whoever it was that took it if they brought it back, in the spirit of Christian Christmas forgiveness."

I’m generally pro-stealing from churches, but that is just awful.  There is a picture of what it looked like before it got stolen at the link. 

Some wise words from Marge Simpson in 1994 – The show was always ahead of its time.

She Wears Fashion – UK Fashion blog: BART SIMPSON! – Another model wearing a shirt from that high fashion Bart Simpson line. 

While I can honestly say I’ve told you the truth, I may not have told you all of it. – I rather liked The Hobbit, but not this much:

As I write this I’ve been home for about an hour, and I’m still absorbing everything.  Plus it’s getting to be past my bedtime and I have work tomorrow.  And I kind of feel like this -

Homer always cracks me up there. 

Happy Birthday Harry – A nice little birthday wish for Harry Shearer:

Harry Julius Shearer seems to be good value for money; he was hired to provide voices for the cartoon series, The Simpsons and has since provided voices for: Mr Burns, Smithers, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Otto, Reverend Lovejoy, Dr. Hibbert, Kent Brockman, Dr. Marvin Monroe, Lenny, McBain, Scratchy, Judge Snyder and several other minor and guest characters.

All I Want for Christmas – My Top Ten Christmas Episodes – “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” and Futurama’s “Xmas Story” both make the cut here.

TV Tuesday: The 5 biggest TV Grinches – Burns makes it at #4 here.

Boo-runs – Heh.

Welcome to my world 24 – Also heh.

TV Thursday #9: Which bag? – Don’t you want your sugar bag?

Can I Borrow a Feeling? – Someone else who agrees with us (plus YouTube):

Took me a day to remember the episode but when I did I was cracking up the whole day and night.  I like this era of Simpson’s.  The really early ones when they were on the Tracy Ullman Show weren’t that great at all and I find they’re getting desperate for laughs in the last decade.

Indeed they are.
Milking The Shark: TV As Vapid Cash Cow – And finally, someone who agrees with us by not only citing Zombie Simpsons as an example of the horrors of show running too long, but also invented a new term: “milking the shark”.  That’s as good a way to describe it as I’ve seen.

28
Dec
12

Quote of the Day

Homer the Vigilante9

“Good Lord, my Stormin’ Norman commemorative plates stolen! . . . again.” – Principal Skinner

27
Dec
12

Quote of the Day

It's For Bart

“Oh, my God!  Someone’s trying to kill me! . . . Oh, wait.  It’s for Bart.” – Homer Simpson

26
Dec
12

Quote of the Day

Boy Scoutz 'N the Hood8

“Lousy piece of junk!” – Homer Simpson
“Hey, I got that for my birthday!” – Todd Flanders
“Now I have to face stupid reality again.” – Homer Simpson

25
Dec
12

Quote of the Day

Bart's Friend Falls in Love12

“Americans have grown up with the image of the jolly fat man, Dom DeLuise, Alfred Hitchcock, and, of course, Santa Claus.  But in real life, Santa would be suffering from gall stones, hypertension, impotence, and diabetes.” – Kent Brockman

24
Dec
12

Quote of the Day

Miracle on Evergreen Terrace2

“This year’s tree is just perfect.  That old aluminum one was so fake.” – Lisa Simpson
“I couldn’t agree more.  From now on, it’s plastic all the way.” – Marge Simpson

23
Dec
12

Quote of the Day

Mother Simpson9

“Well that nice lady set the cause of biological warfare back thirty years!” – C.M. Burns
“We’re only now finally caught up.” – Mr. Smithers

Happy birthday Harry Shearer!

22
Dec
12

Quote of the Day

The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show7

“Excuse me, Mr. Simpson, on the Itchy & Scratchy CD-ROM, is there a way to get out of the dungeon without using the wizard key?” – Database
“What the hell are you talking about?” – Homer Simpson

21
Dec
12

Reading Digest: Simpsons Day Celebration Edition

Marge Be Not Proud4

“Stealing!  How could you?  Haven’t you learned anything from that guy who gives those sermons at church, Captain Whatshisname?” – Homer Simpson

The internet’s annual holiday/end of year ennui has set in, so we’ve got a shorter than usual Reading Digest this week.  We do have several links marking Simpsons Day (which I will see become a real holiday if it’s the last thing I ever do), including a couple of looks at other events on December 17th plus a history of the show and other cartoons.  There’s also a DJ version of the theme song, obscure animation, more about the Tapped Out game, some decent YouTube, and an awesome monorail newspaper comment section.

Enjoy.

Our first entry doesn’t really have a link, but reader RaikoLives sent in this photograph (he didn’t take it, he just found it) from Australia in response to news about the Sydney monorail:

Monorail wail

In case you can’t see the image, the introduction reads:

The Herald reported yesterday that Hunter tourism and transport representatives said it is worth considering salvaging Sydney’s aging monorail and bringing it to Newcastle.  This is what you said . . .

The first three replies:

What stupid nonsense.  There is no way this is even going to be considered.  It’s more of a Shelbyville idea. – Icanmakeupstoriestoo

Sorry Marge, the mob have spoken.  Monorail, monorail, monorail. – Terry Arki

Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrook all have one, and by gum it put them on the map – jmo

Bravo, readers of the Newcastle Herald.  Bravo.

the simpsons – All the way from India, we have some sweet, self applied Simpsons nail designs to celebrate Simpsons Day.

The Simpsons Tapped Out: Christmas Update – Everything you wanted to know about the latest update to the Tapped Out game.

This Was Television On December 17 – Want to see a list of people who share a birthday with the show?  Sure you do.

On this Date in History.. – How about some famous and not so famous events that happened on Simpsons Day?  They have both good ones:

1821 – Kentucky abolishes all debtors prisons

And bad ones:

1895 – Anti-Saloon League of America is formed in Washington, DC

Boo!

10 Origins of Popular Cartoon Characters – The Simpson family is #1 on here, and I learned more about Scooby-Doo than I ever knew before.

101 GREATEST SIMPSONS QUOTES – There’s bit more Zombie Simpsons on here than there should be, but it’s pretty good nevertheless.

Krusty the Clown on Faith – Castellaneta’s delivery on this one is fantastic from start to finish.

TV Thursday #8: BBQ pit – BBQ pit YouTube?  BBQ pit YouTube.

mechanical realities and manufactured pleasures – I’ve never heard of this before, but now I’m intrigued:

I’m watching Phantom Museums by the Brothers Quay, whose work I’ve never watched before. This will probably be an ongoing topic, because there are thirteen short films and although each is no longer than twenty minutes, this stuff is dense. I don’t think I can watch more than one per night.

It’s pretty dark, and it’s pretty sparse, and it feels super eastern european. it reminds me of “Worker and Parasite,” the soviet version of Itchy and Scratchy.

There’s Worker & Parasite YouTube at the link as well.

DJ Shadow-The Simpsons Theme-Breakbeat Routine – Pretty much what it says.

Drinking the LOST-Aid: The Mythology, Duality, & Significance of Cult Television – Some animated trivia for you:

Alex Hirsch, creator of Disney Channel’s latest animated series Gravity Falls, decided to include this world building mythology into his show right from the beginning. In an interview with The A.V. Club, Hirsch discussed his inspiration and motivation for taking this extra step:

    “In terms of the world-building, there was always a wonderful thing that The Simpsons did: It respected its audience enough to reward our attention. They’d say, ‘We’re going to cram this thing with references, with jokes, with little callbacks, and if you are obsessive enough, if you love it enough, it will reward your obsession.’… And that just made the show so much more compelling… It gave me a reward every time I tried to watch it more closely.”

Too bad these days all of Zombie Simpsons’ attempts to do that are just naked fan service.

1600 Penn…In 10 Words – I find it hard to believe that a baby could’ve risen to the rank of admiral.  Also, Lone Star as the President?  Nobody’s gonna believe that.

Parental Guidance…In 10 Words – I’ll get you for this, Midler!

The Fiscal Cliff…In 10 Words – It’s a testament to the never give up and never think things through spirit of our representatives.

Last day of work before the holidays – Holiday break makes Homer something something:

After endulging on one or two too many of the office lunch room’s christmas sweets, I’ve begun to compare myself to a young Homer Simpson in The Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror V. Please see below. And word to the wise – donuts and fudge for breakfast is never a good idea…

Never trust Bart Simpson – Those of us with both younger and older siblings know what each side of this conversation is like.

Just another night at the movies – Homer and the ice never gets old.

Moderately Interesting Morning Fact Dec. 17: Back When ‘The Simpsons’ Were Funny Edition – And finally, not only does this headline agree with us, but there’s also this:

The show was a spin-off of cartoon shorts that appeared on the network’s wildly popular “The Tracey Ullman Show.” The episode was called “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire.” Nothing ever really came of it.

Heh.  Merry Christmas everyone, and remember to bet on #8. 

21
Dec
12

Quote of the Day

Homer Defined8

“Looks like this is the end.” – Moe
“Ah, it’s alright.  I couldn’t have led a richer life.” – Barney Gumble

20
Dec
12

Quote of the Day

I Love Lisa13

“Now, why do they call this a urine monkey? . . . Oh, I just found out.” – Krusty the Klown
“That’s funny for so many reasons.” – Bart Simpson

19
Dec
12

Quote of the Day

King Size Homer11

“Arnie Pie in the Sky with the morning commute.  Traffic this morning is as bad as it gets.  Due to a fire at the Army testing lab, a bunch of escaped, infected monkeys are roaming the expressway.  Despite the sweltering heat, don’t unroll your windows cause those monkeys seem confused and irritable.” – Arnie Pie

18
Dec
12

Quote of the Day

Lisa's Pony16

“I’ll buy her that pony she’s always bugging me for.” – Homer Simpson
“We can’t afford to buy a pony.” – Marge Simpson
“Marge, with today’s gasoline prices we can’t afford not to buy a pony.” – Homer Simpson

17
Dec
12

Some Simpsons Day YouTube

Dancin' Homer8

“Oh, Marge, sitting next to the boss, the best night of the year and it’s ruined!” – Homer Simpson

Last year Simpsons Day fell on a Saturday and I got to spend the whole thing sitting on my ass and watching cartoons.  Sadly, today is a work day, but there’s still plenty of great, old Simpsons stuff to enjoy on-line.  For starters, check out this 1990 interview with Groening, Brooks and Simon:

Near the end, the interviewer asks about all the merchandise (remember, this was the absolute height of Bartmania), and Groening plugs some of the upcoming licensed crap:

We’ve got some great stuff on its way out, just stay tuned for the Nintendo game, and the Simpsons pinball machine, the official Bart Simpson vehicle of destruction, that’s a skateboard, and lots more.

The great big flashing neon irony of the video comes when Groening is asked about the origin of the show and, referring to the original bumper shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show, says:

I think it’s a very insidious way of keeping people paying attention to a TV show is to make little short cartoons about the length of a commercial so people had to pay attention.  If you blinked you’d miss them when they were on the Tracey Ullman show.

The interviewer then asks, “Did you draw them immediately the way they are now?”, to which Groening responds:

Well, if you watch them on Lifetime, cable, you’ll see that the Simpsons have transformed quite a bit since the early days.

Ha!  Now 1990 is the early days, far more so than 1987 was at the time.

Speaking of 1990, to give you an example of just how immensely popular and phenomenal the Simpsons were at the time, here is a “video yearbook” from some high school’s 1989-90 school year:

Season 1 had just finished airing when this was made, and Bart not only gets the last word (it’s right at the end), but he also gets about as much time as the Berlin Wall coming down.  In a similar high school vein, take a look at this marching band performance of the opening theme in 1990:

The cameraman isn’t doing anyone any favors here, but note the big cheer that goes up from the crowd at the 15 second mark when they recognize the theme.  It’s much bigger than the cheer that the band got before they started playing Elfman’s catchy masterpiece. 

Finally, this is a video from 1990 produced by British Sky Broadcasting for “dealers”, which I presume means the middlemen who have to decide whether or not to carry the channel.  Basically, it’s an in-house promo for how great their programming is and why it’s worth carrying.  At the 7:30 mark they talk about Sky One and how it reaches tons of younger viewers, and they specifically cite The Simpsons as a big reason why. 

When the promo starts, it not only calls the show “the smash hit of the 90s”, but it contains this rather amazing slice of 1990, then Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney holding a Bart Simpson doll while Colin Powell stands behind him:

Dick, Colin & Bart

Wow.

I’ll hopefully have more a little later.  In the meantime, happy Simpsons Day, everybody!

17
Dec
12

Quote of the Day

Homer's Triple Bypass8

“Look at that pig, stuffing his face with donuts on my time!  That’s right, keep eating, little do you know you’re drawing ever closer to the poisoned donut! . . . there is a poisoned one, isn’t there, Smithers?” – C.M. Burns
“Uh, no, sir.  I discussed this with our lawyers, they consider it murder.” – Mr. Smithers
“Damn their oily hides!” – C.M. Burns

Happy 20th Anniversary to “Homer’s Triple Bypass”!  Original airdate: 17 December 1992.

[And Happy Simpsons Day!]

16
Dec
12

Sunday Preview: To Cur, With Love

promo-tocur

When a fire at the retirement home forces Grampa to move back in with the Simpsons, Homer throws out his back on moving day. While “resting” at home, he gets hooked on the super-addictive tablet game, “Villageville.” And, in his distraction, he loses the family dog, Santa’s Little Helper. Everyone is angry with Homer for not seeming to care about the missing dog, but Grampa tells them the story of Homer’s long-lost childhood pup, Bongo.

I am curious if Santa’s Little Helper runs away, or if a laid-up Homer actually finds a way to “lose” him from the couch.  I know it is a relatively un-important distinction, but to me it’s an indicator about the level of insanity to which I will admit this show is capable of going.

 

 

 




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